Silver has thus far spent the entirety of this week below last week‘s high point of $22.48 per ounce, but it looks as though the white metal may be starting to shift upward.
Monday, silver traded as high as $21.58 early in the morning, possibly due to “a slight rekindling of flight to quality sentiment” or “news of a reduction in quarterly silver production,” as per Capital Trading Group’s daily report. However, it wasn’t long before silver started to sink, eventually ending the day at $21.27.
That fall continued on Tuesday, with the white metal hitting $20.63, its lowest price this week, early in the day. Though silver soon picked itself up, rising to $21.40 later in the day, Capital Trading Group speculated that putting the bulls “back in control of the silver market might require a rally back above $21.45, or full blown fears that the US simply won’t avoid a default.”
Wednesday was an exciting day for the United States, which avoided a debt default and ended its government shutdown with a deal reached late in the day. Unfortunately for silver bugs, it was not an exciting day for the white metal — it stayed between $21.18 and $21.42, apparently taking no cues from the to-do.
That, however, changed today, when silver rose abruptly to $22.15 early in the morning. Though it has since eased off from that point, closing the day at $21.89, the white metal is still faring better than it was at the beginning of the week.
The question now, according to Capital Trading Group, is whether “economic conditions will foster improved physical demand for silver” or if this morning’s price increase is “simply a knee jerk technical reaction.” For its the part, the firm is concerned that because tapering is still a threat, the rise in prices will not last long.
On Tuesday, Fortuna Silver Mines (TSX:FVI,NYSE:FSM) announced third-quarter production results from its two Latin America-based underground operating mines, San Jose and Caylloma; together, they produced 1,104,914 ounces of silver and 4,515 ounces of gold during Q3. The company also reaffirmed that it is on track to put out 4.5 million ounces of silver and 23,600 ounces of gold (5.9 million ounces of silver equivalent) during 2013.
Two days later, Fortuna came forward with more news, this time revealing that proven and probable reserves at San Jose now come to 3.9 million tons containing an estimated 24.8 million ounces of silver and 215.1 thousand ounces of gold — that amounts to a 22-percent increase in contained silver ounces. Inferred resources total 5.4 million tons containing an estimated 35.3 million ounces of silver and 272.3 thousand ounces of gold, a 39-percent increase in contained silver ounces.
Also providing third-quarter results was Fresnillo (LSE:FRES), which on Thursday released its production report for the three months ended September 30, 2013, commenting that year to date, its attributable silver production totals 32.1 million ounces, a 5.6-percent increase from the year-ago period. For the quarter, it produced 11.1 million ounces of the white metal, up 7.6 percent from the same period in 2012.
On a different note, Tahoe Resources (TSX:THO,NYSE:TAHO) began shipping silver-bearing metals concentrates to smelters from its Guatemala-based Escobal mine this week. The company’s next goal, according to President, CEO and Director Kevin McArthur, is to achieve “stakeholder returns through Guatemala federal taxes, a strong community-based royalty and dividends to our shareholders.”
Junior company news
Junior exploration and development company Avrupa Minerals (TSXV:AVU), whose portfolio includes a number of silver properties, closed its strategic financing with Callinan Royalties on Tuesday for gross proceeds of $350,000. The company is in the process of upgrading its precious and base metal targets to attract potential partners.
The same day, Sunset Cove Mining (TSXV:SSM), another junior exploration and development company, closed two tranches of a private placement for a total of $99,700. The company will put the funds toward general working capital for its operations in Canada and Peru, including the Carolay silver property.
Later in the week, Apogee Silver (TSXV:APE,OTCQX:AGEEF) said that the Bolivian Ministry of Environment and Water has approved the environmental impact statement for the company’s Pulacayo silver and base metals project, allowing Apogee to “begin mine and concentrator construction with a targeted production rate of up to 560 tonnes per day.” Apogee is currently looking for financing partners and alternatives to move the project forward.
Silver Mountain Mines (TSXV:SMM) received positive initial results from a ground gravity survey program at its British Columbia-based Ptarmigan property, which is historically rich in silver. The survey is a key part of the company’s evaluation of the mineral potential of Ptarmigan.
Finally, Northern Vertex Mining (TSXV:NEE) announced the remaining assays for the Phase 4 drill program at its Moss mine gold-silver heap leach project, located in Northwest Arizona. The company notes in its press release that one highlight is that an upgrade in resource classification may be possible “based on additional information received on inferred mineralization in the eastern portion of the Moss deposit.”
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.